9 financial red flags to look out for in your relationship

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Illustration by Getty Images
Illustration by Getty Images
  • Without a doubt, money can create many issues in relationships and lead to harsh break-ups among soulmates.
  • Financial issues are quite common in relationships, mainly because many adults have not built good relationships with money.
  • Counsellor Phumzile Ndlovu says it's important that couples communicate about where each partner stands financially as it allows you to plan better as a couple.

According to psychotherapist Tina B Tessina – author of How to be Happy Partners: Working it out Together – "money is one of the biggest generators of problems, arguments and resentment in a long-term relationship".

Tina believes partners commit financial infidelity because they haven't established good communication, they're trying to avoid conflict, or they're out of control and don't want to admit it.

Counsellor Phumzile Ndlovu warns that over time problems with finances can create frustration, conflict and tension in a relationship.

"You could also find yourself inheriting your partner's debts, which could cause some form of anger and resentment within the relationship," she says. 

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If you are concerned, having that sensitive and challenging conversation will allow you to make informed decisions.

But what happens if your partner refuses to fully share details of their financial standing? How do you know the person you are seeing could compromise your own financial standing?

Have you experienced alarming financial red flags? Tell us here.

Phumzile advises that you take note of the following red flags in relation to your partner:

  • A bad credit score or they are listed on ITC.
  • Expenses are more than the income they earn.
  • Having too many credit accounts or loans.
  • They owe a lot of people money, or they are constantly borrowing money.
  • Living hand to mouth.
  • Dishonesty about their financial standing.
  • Defaulting on loan payments and bills.
  • A long list of unexplained debit orders.
  • No plan or interest in saving or investments.

Like any other relationship issue, financial problems can be resolved. Phumzile suggests drawing up a budget could assist you in better managing your expenses.

Have a financial plan and goals that will suit you both. This will ensure that you are on the same page, thus minimising financial disagreements.

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